Cyclothymia is a mood disorder characterized by cycling periods of hypomania-unusual emotional highs-and periods of mild to moderate depression. The condition is similar to the better known bipolar disorder, but cyclothymics never experience episodes of full mania or deep depression. In order for a therapist to diagnose someone with cyclothymia, the cycling of moods must continue for at least two years. Since the emotional episodes of cyclothymics tend to be more mild, they often go undiagnosed and untreated. Clinical studies have demonstrated, though, that leaving these symptoms untreated carries a particular risk: between 15 and 50 percent of cyclothymia sufferers will eventually develop a diagnosable bipolar disorder.
The Cyclothymia Workbook, the first written specifically to cyclothymia sufferers, helps readers learn more about this condition. It explores hereditary and stress-related possible causes of the disorder, as well as the history of the condition and its treatment. The book offers exercises to help readers recognize their emotional cycles and any conditions that might trigger changes from one phase to another. The book introduces readers to cognitive behavioral techniques that are effective at limiting and controlling shifting moods. Later chapters explore treatment options-medical and psychotherapeutic-and offer advice on how to manage relationships when one partner suffers from cyclothymia.
Prentiss Price, PhD, was a counseling psychologist at the Counseling and Career Development Center of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. She developed the Web site www.allaboutdepression.com...Read more